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Tirolean dumplings

This hearty dish was first mentioned in a Tyrolean cook book dating back to the 16th century and is sure to turn any cool evening into a heartwarming affair.
Tirolean dumplings © Tirol WerbungTirolean dumplings © Tirol Werbung

approx. 10 medium-sized dumplings

  • For the dumplings
  • 7 oz. bread for dumplings (small cubes of dried white bread or crumbled white rolls)
  • approx. 6.5 liquid oz milk
  • 5.5 - 4 oz. smoked ham and/or spicy sausage (cured sausage etc.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion
  • butter or clarified butter for sweating the onions
  • 2 tbsp freshly-chopped parsley
  • 2 – 3 tbsp flour
  • salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg
  • For the garnish:
  • melted butter
  • chopped parsley

Tirolean dumplings


How to make it:

  • Finely chop the shallots, and cut the smoked ham or sausage into small cubes. Heat some butter or clarified butter in a pan and sweat the onions until translucent. Add the meat and the parsley and fry briefly, before removing from the heat.

  • Place the bread in a bowl. Beat the milk with the eggs and season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over the bread. Stir in the sausage and onion paste and mix in the flour. Mix together to form a relatively firm dough (adding more bread or flour if necessary) and adjust the seasoning. Smooth the surface of the dough and let is rest for approx. 30 minutes.

  • Boil salted water in a large pot. Form smaller dumplings out of the dough by moistening your hands regularly with cold water during this process (this ensures a soomth surface of the dumplings)

  • Place dumplings into the boiling water, bring back to a boil, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer gently for around 8-20 minutes, depending on the size.

  • Take out of the water, dry them off well and arrange for serving. Garnish with chopped parsley and browned butter.

Small shaped Tirolean dumplings are often served as a garnish in strong, hot beef broth, while the bigger dumplings are served with warm sauerkraut or salad.

Tip: Culinary history has always overcome political boundaries. For instance, the origins of the Tirol dumpling is in no way restricted to today’s province of Tirol. Although first recorded in a Tirolean cook book in the 16th century, savory dumplings were eaten 400 years earlier in modern day Italy. This is evidenced by a “fresco with dumplings” in the castle chapel in Hocheppan (Castel d’Appiano). What else but a delicious Tirol dumpling could have inspired the artist in question?

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